The book Looking Backward was written by Edward Bellamy and published in the year 1888. Bellamy started off his career as a journalist but then married and decided to devote his efforts to writing fiction novels. Looking Backward was published and Bellamy was famous. The book stirred around the country and had people imagining a world like the one Bellamy created in his book. The idea of a utopia as the one he describes is unbelievable. His book is what people, of even now in the twenty first century, wish the world could possible be like. However, Bellamy’s world of reasoning and judging of people based on the inner beliefs was not what people of then or now do. Bellamy’s book showed a world of rationality being applied to create a world of down right good and generous people. If rationality was every used to create a wholesome war-hearted society than the picture that Bellamy envisioned would be true today. Bellamy built his utopia upon the position that individuals did not compete with one another.
The story starts with a preface that explains the sum of the story. The story introduces the fact that Bellamy is writing as if it is already the twentieth century and the world is looked at through rationality. Bellamy uses the character Julian West to represent industrialization and how his utopia are used as the answers is used as the answers to industrialization problems, and Dr. Leete to represent the new society. Within the first chapter Julian West is the narrator describing to his listeners how society was run in the late 1800’s. The people within Bellamy’s utopia could not believe or understand the conditions of how society was run back than. There were four classes: Rich, Poor, Educated, and Ignorant. In the 1800’s, Julian tells the readers that this was the only way that people knew how to run a society. The next few chapters begin to tell the story of how Julian West ended up in the twentieth century. The story describes how Julian falls asleep for a hundred and thirteen years. When Mr. West awakens to a doctor who recovered his body and planned on waiting as long as it took until he awoke. Mr. West is surprised by how the society has turned out and the kindness he received from a complete stranger. This stranger and doctor is the other main character Dr. Leete. Julian begins to discuss the vast improvements among the half a century he has been asleep. Here Bellamy begins to describe the utopia world that he has created. Julian is amazed to hear how the society is equally prosperous and is worried and the society values common good among the society than who has the most power.
Within the next few chapters Dr. Leete and Julian stay up to talk and answer questions that he may have. In these chapters Bellamy is using a comparison of the Julian’s old world to the utopia that he has just entered and what Bellamy is creating as reader’s continue with the story. Bellamy continues to explain further details of this utopia. For one Bellamy explains how each makes the money equally within the state and than how the money is given to the state to be equally distributed. Continuing on Bellamy describes a little how the society and state was run back in the ninetieth century. He talks about man’s place in the work field and all the other responsibility that they carry out. Bellamy writes about each world a little at a time in order for the reader to distinguish the differences of the ninetieth century and the twentieth century.
As the chapters progress and the story of the unimaginable world continues Bellamy begins to introduce the romance and connection between Julian and Mrs. Leete. She feels for Julian being in an unfamiliar surrounding and asks him to confide in her whenever he feels he needs questions answered or complaints issued. Even though the new world that Bellamy has created is a joyous place to be, Julian can not help but wonder about the past and try to look back upon what he has lost.